Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
August 6, 1964, Vol. IX, No. 42
By Daniel List
Last Sunday we held a sports car rallye on the outskirts of Washington Square Park, and we should certainly be thankful for the high spirits of the contestants. This was the eighth annual Voice rallye, and it was marked by a small crowd of really earnest devotees who worked earnestly to make it a success. Usually we host an enormous throng of passers-by, incidental spectators, and the idly curious; this year, however, the spectators were sparser, more knowledgeable, sympathetic, and cooperative. The rallye activity, with one notable exception, went off smoothly.
The rallye this year was won by a chap named Vanderbilt from Long Island driving a very unprepossessing Volkswagen sedan. He started well back in the pack, nearly the last of a sizable team of determined VW owners from the Volkswagen Club of Long Island. Second prize was secured by a Studebaker Avanti, and third went to a Renault Dauphine. Other early finishers included a new Dodge convertible and a local Jaguar.
We were especially fortunate this year in returning to the field our regular complement of rallye stewards and flag men, including “Snooks” Hargrave of Thompson Street, Gabe Orechkoff of West 10th Street, (with his lovely Packard 110), and Lee Brown, who assists Jean Shepherd. Also helpfully on hand were Carole Anastakis and Fred McDarrah of The Voice’s staff and many others, including local authorities.
Jean Shepherd, our perennial m.c., who has kept the rallyes running for the entire eight-year period, earned a special thank you by spending his Sunday midday perched on the fender of a Terraplane sedan and hipping the spectators to precisely what was occuring through the activity. Shepherd’s fund of car facts pours out in an inexhaustible stream, and never yet has a machine passed over the starting grid that he wasn’t conversant with. A few police patrol cars came through on their appointed rounds, and Shep had remarks ready on the topic of Plymouth and their suitability for such work.
The rallyeists were sent on a long, 13 1/2-mile route though the Village and much of the Wall Street area, a course designed to occupy 75 minutes of their time. Although the route was similar to last year’s, many streets no longer run the same direction, and several have disappeared entirely from the city plan. This year there were more stoplights on the route, more switchbacks, and several new lanes for the navigators to discover.
At the finish point, the Limelight Cafe on Seventh Avenue South, the flagmen checked in cars, marked down their arrival times, and shipped the vehicles around to Barrow Street. The drivers repaired to the coolness within for a few cold beers, to pick up their souvenirs and plan for next year’s tilt with the clock and rallye route.
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 28, 2009